Training Nutrition and Supplements

Co. of Culinate

Nutrition and proper hydration are my biggest downfalls in general when it comes to training, and, personally in my life in general.  It’s a fact. I’ve known it, and have felt the blows from it–and it was one reason I didn’t finish the race I was training for last year. Well, there were a lot of reason why I didn’t finish–all stupid mistakes in training for the race, and caused by me. Yet, what I love is that you can always learn something–from training, or racing.

As above, there is a  huge issue I have is properly fueling up for and during races. Now, I’m experimenting   with different types of energy products during training to figure out what works with my body and what doesn’t. As I’ve found out already, gels and Gu Bloks don’t work with my stomach.

This post is more geared for triathlons, specifically the bike part, which killed me last year at Mooseman. And, upon hearing that Timberman’s bike course is more difficult than Mooseman (which, if I consumed more than simply 5 gels and Gatorade might have finished, because that course wasn’t bad coming from someone living in the Catskill region) I really need to (1) switch up my bike training and (2) fuel myself before, during, and after training rides and runs.

The other day I did a 50 miler and ate a good breakfast about an hour before the ride, of steel-cut oats with Soy milk, peanut butter, and strawberries since the bananas were not ripe. For a non- breakfast eater (BAD BAD me, I know), it was tasty and sat well with me.

Mmmm

For the ride, I tried some Hammer Nutrition Perpetuum powder to be added to water. It is a product based on weight, and hours of intense training. From multiple Iron Man finishers (and, these people have finished multiple Iron Man and half Iron Man distances), I was told you need to be consuming between 200-300 calories per hour on the bike, because after that bike, you still need that umph power for the 13.1miles. Perpetuum is different from an electrolyte additive, because it has nutrition and calories and is balanced in composition, and “easily digestible” according to the package. They have different flavors, and I tried the Strawberry-Vanilla flavor. It had no negative effects on my stomach on the ride–the one thing I noticed is I needed a lot more water when consuming the drink mix, because it made me quite thirsty. (Hammer Nutrition has a great section on their website for endurance athletes). I did find that it did give me fuel  to keep me going for the ride– and I finished the ride faster than I have in prior 50 mile rides with one gel or nothing. (Yup, stupidity talking to you right there).

After the ride, I did have a FRS energy power that I added to my water bottle–it was orange flavored and tasted a bit…Nasty, but I drank it anyway.

I tried FRS chews on a run and they are tasty (but only 40 calories), with the main “Energy” ingredient being Quercetin, and you don’t need to drink water with them (but, you do need to drink water when on long runs–no dehydration).

There are a couple other supplements I might try, as in Cytomax and some other endurance specific items. Of course, foods are always the best source of calories.

So, what’s really important during training? Regular food!!

  1. Protein. I’m a vegetarian so this is slightly more difficult finding good sources of protein. But, a vegan has finished the hardest mountain bike race, and I know plenty of vegan/vegetarian athletes out there who perform amazingly. Protein is necessary to repair muscle damage done by training, maintain the immune system, make enzymes and hormones, and replace RBCs that carry oxygen to muscles. Athletic performance is dependant on external protein sources, because the body cannot produce it by itself from scratch (Friel, Joe, The Triathletes Training Bible. 3rd ed. Colorado: Velo Press,  2009).  What are good sources? For meat eaters: chicken, fish, red meat, turkey, cheeses, yogurt, eggs, milk (the list goes on). For vegetarians/vegans: almonds, beans, peanut butter, oat meal, soy products,lentils, quinoa, Tempeh, Seitan, TVP, Vegan burgers…
  2. Carbohydrates. Carbs are important in training, but sometimes overrated, and athletes tend to focus on carbs the most in their diet. Carbohydrates ARE important before, during and after training or competition are essential in maintaining energy levels, regulated blood sugar, prevention of fatigue, and quick recovery after an event.  However, certain carbohydrates, according to their glycemic index (how quickly insulin is entered into the blood stream) cause a spike in blood sugar, leading to a quick decrease in insulin, and quick decrease in energy. A GI food search can be found here. And then there is the Gluten Free diet which is a controversial subject. I have, in the past, and actually might start again going gluten free, because wheat/barley/rye tend to lead to digestive issues 😦
  3. Fat. Ohh, the dreaded mention of fat. I walk down isles in the food market and see loads of “low fat, fat free” foods. (By the way, if you are worried about calories, low fat foods do not necessarily mean fewer calories). Fat is an important part of the diet. It helps absorb vital vitamins (such as vit.K, A,D and E), and is actually the body’s most efficient source of energy. Then again, there are the “High Density Lipoproteins” which, if able, should not be a large portion of fat intake as it can increase chances of heart disease amongst other issues. Low Density Lipoproteins, are, however, good fats to eat. Heard of “Omega-3”? That’s a good fat, and can be found in fish, fortified foods, oils in nuts.

Now, hydration. Related to the nutrition, and one which I’ve known more about from my earlier running days.

There is (still) this idea that people have that hydration is the most important part of racing.  When I ran marathons, people told me to hydrate…Hydrate…Hydrate. Yes, this is important, during high intensity workouts, or days of high humidity, and depending on how much you sweat (I admit it, I’m a sweater…The secret is out). But too much water can do more harm than good–there have been more deaths do to over-hydration. Why? You are diluting your body’s sodium and potassium levels, causing hypo-natremia. This can cause seizures, coma, and death. I’ve seen this as a nurse. It’s a scary thing.

Lastly, there is a LOT of information out there on this subject. Check it out. 🙂

Okay, lastly lastly. An interesting site/blog to check out, for triathletes, is Fearless Food.

For you athletes out there, what are your thoughts on nutrition and supplements?

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Timberman Training week 13

Lots has happened between last week and this week. I managed to try a supplement (Hammer Perpetuum) and had a good breakfast before hand, and rode my fastest 50miler thus far. I bought a wetsuit of my own so I’ll be more prepared in being comfortable in wetuits swimming outside (and booties, and a neoprene cap, as well as swimming gloves). I know that gloves are not allowed in competitions but since the water here outside is chilly, and I want to start OWS’s somewhat soon, I wand to be warm in cold water. I also started seening my triathlon coach again to help prepare more for Timberman, since it is a different type of race than Mooseman (different course I mean). And, since she is an amazing mountain biker, she’ll help with preparation for mountain bike races–my first being June 10th, the first of the New York State Mountain Bike Series.

Tuesday

– Mtn Bike ride 90 minutes
– Swim= total 2000 yards
Warmup (WU)= total 300 yards of drills
Main Set (MS)= 1500yards –>12×100 with :20 RI
Cool Down as you like for 200 yards

Wednesday
– Run= tempo
WU first then–>4×1 mile with 2:00 RI at 8.00 pace

Thursday
– Bike= Hill repeats/tempo (70minutes)
Find a hill that takes 10:00 to climb and at a 6% grade. From the bottom of 299 and 44/55 to trapps bridge in New Paltz might work well) Climb seated 50-60 rpm. Zone 3.
recvoer 7:00 easy spin. Do total of 3 times.

View from Burger Hill

Friday
– Swim= tempo/ total 1700 yards
WU= total 300 yards drills
MS=1200 yards–> 6x 200 at planned HIM pace with :20 RI
CD as you like for 200 yards

– Run= speed
WU first then 6×2:00 HARD up Burger Hill with 3:00 easy recovery inbetween

– Mountain bike lesson (even though I kind of know what I’m doing out there)

Saturday
– Bike= LSD (40miles) + t-run 10min

Sunday
– Run= 9 miles
– Possible Mtn bike ride, depending on weather

Memorial day Monday
– Bike= Ride to Hudson and back (about 50-60 miles round trip depending which routes I decide to take)

If you are training, be safe, train hard, and have FUN!!! 🙂

Fun fun!

Mountain Biking…In the Rain?

Yes, I just finished my first mountain bike ride in the rain. My prediction that the forecasted downpour rain would wait for another couple hours to allow me to go for a ride was 100% wrong. Ten minutes into my ride, down came the rain. And not just a drizzle. This rain had a mission to wipe me out…And, I did have some wipe outs.

I’ve had pretty good luck weather wise when it comes to mountain biking. I really don’t mind running in the rain, or even open water swims when it is drizzling outside (as long as it isn’t cold). I’ve road ridden in single digit weather. And, ridden on roads when it has rained. But, this was my first experience mountain biking in downpour. Well, truth be told, last year around this time I did fall off a bridge into water riding a bike. But, that’s different.

What I learnt: it’s kind of a lot tricker riding in rain.

Roots= slippery.

Rocks= slippery.

Streams= higher.

Mud= muddier.

Small creatures= blocking trails (I don’t like running over salamanders).

Aww so cute.

Attempt not to squish

Shoes= back to cross racing cleanliness.

Cross racing definitely prepared me for mud and dirt 🙂

All of the above causing my healing non-bruised legs which were finally short/skirt appropriate to turn back into bruised, scarred legs that cannot be shown in public.

I must admit, despite my frustration, it was super fun and more challenging.

And, of course, I had to stop and take pictures in the pouring rain 🙂

PS It’s really kind of silly to wash your bike the day before you know it’s going to rain.

Wash the day before= total waste of time.

26, Already?

It seems like only yesterday I was turning a year older. But now  I can already feel my body aching when I wake up, people need to speak up, and my tricepts are flabby–getting up and down stairs is a chore–and this all happened overnight between turning 25 and 26 (that’s all a joke btw, except for body aching).

I must say I haven’t really had a birthday “celebration” in awhile–last year I had a raging fever and strep throat. Other years I have been working. So, since this has been the most memorable one, it deserves a post.

Last night out as a 25 year old with El Presidente

My friend and I decided to go on a 50 mile bike ride (well I decided to, since I need to train, and invited him to go along. I must admit it was a leisurly ride through the catskills with lots of picture taking stops. K is in much better shape then me, and kept me going when on my own I’d be left behind (I did let him go ahead and crush hills.)

New Haircut! Bangs bangs bangs

Before we left, we had a fuel filled breakfast, and I was greeted by homemade suprises!

Le chef

starting on Dug Hill

Thumbs up for 28A

Ashokan Resevoir

A fuzzy “26”

K. checkin it out.

Ewwww bug

Jumped over the fence–for a justifiable birthday pose.

zooming along

Yup, let’s see those guns.Show off.

The start of taking my hands off the handle bars

Almost!

Now when I win races, I’ll be able to look like a pro.

He takes more photos than I do!!!

Not expecting a photo to be taken….As if I could duck out of sight in that location….

Infront of a fountain. See, wasn’t lying when I said we had a lot of photos

going to go up soon

Maybe be I’ll do some hiking in my road riding shoes.

Made it- despite some slipping off slippery rocks…where were my mtn bike shoes when I needed them?

Then the fun happened….We found free stuff on the side of the road

Our rides

Ouuu! Free stuff!

Readjusting

We did have little free space to carry the goods between us, so I decided to empty my water bladder in my camel bak to make things fit. I was determined. Who needs water with 20 more miles to go?pshh.

Three good tuberware safely and finally fit

Our loot we lugged back! Go team M-K!

Our route is the below link. After the ride, a trip to my favorite restaurant, Santa Fe in Tivoli, and homemade apple pie–K remembered I hate cake 🙂

50 mile birthday ride

New, more bad-ass Luxembourg jersey!

26-er Apple Pie

And ofcourse, I make K get up at 4am to go see the sunrise at Ferncliff forest 🙂

Waiting

Sunrise!

Thank you, KJY, for the best birthday day.

Tri training week 14

So, only 14 weeks until Timberman. Last week’s training went well– my stupid IT band in my left hip has been somewhat of a nuisance. I’ll see how the 9mile run goes tomorrow (yes, I switched the week up due to weather).  My long ride ended up being longer 41 miles and I’ve realized (1) head wind STINKS– I hate having to pedal DOWN hills, and (2) my allergies have increased from last year for some reason. Maybe because we’ve had such a dry spring thus far in the northeast? Below is my training week for next week- Monday through Wednesday the weather is supposed to be rainy, so I kind of switched up some days according to that. Soon, it will be warm enough for OWS (yes!!! finally! I can’t tell you how much I dislike pools)— with a wet suit…Not quite warm enough to swim without one just yet.

Lake Onteora at sunrise during one of my open water swims last summer

 

(This Sunday–tomorrow): 9 miler

Monday

  • Swim = endurance 60 minutes
    swim = total 2100 yards 

    Warmup = total 300 yards.  
    swim 3 x (swim 50 yards / kick 50 yards) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow, hand entry, fingers, pull technique.)

    Mainset = 1600 yards
    4 x 400 yards with :45 RI between

    Cooldown as you like for 200 yards

Tuesday

  • Run = 45 minutes; run = tempo (AM)
    • main set = 8 x 6:00 at zone 3 or race pace with 1:30-2:00 RI

      cooldown: 10:00

  • possible mountain bike ride in PM, depending on weather

Wednesday

  • Bike = trainer. 60 minutes
  • Bike =  big gear. Elevate front wheel 4-6″ on block.

    warmup: 10:00 – 15:00

    main set: 5 x (2:00 big gear <80 rpm / 1:00 >100 rpm /  2:00 big gear 50-60 rpm / 1:00 >100 rpm) 2:00 RI between intervals. HR 3+ to low zone 4

Thursday

  • Swim = speed.  50 minutes
    swim = total 1800  yards

    Warmup = total 300 yards.  
    swim 3 x (swim 50 yards / kick 50 yards) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow, hand entry, fingers, pull technique.)

    main set = 1300 yards
    10 x 50 as:  (25 yards FAST then settle into 25 yards easy) :45-60 RI
    8 x 100. alternate between fast and easy :30 RI

    cooldown as you like for 200 yards

  • Run (PM)- 6 miles

Friday

  • bike = 50 mile LSD
    you can start to ride the hills harder. Getting your HR into zone 3 (HR = 155-164bpm)

    T-run 10:00

Saturday

  • Rest day (my birthday!Woohoo)
  • Possible mountain bike ride or road ride

Sunday

  • Swim = speed.  50 minutes (AM)
    swim = total 1800  yards

    Warmup = total 300 yards.  
    swim 3 x (swim 50 yards / kick 50 yards) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow, hand enrty, fingers, pull technique.)

    main set = 1300 yards
    10 x 50 as:  (25 yards FAST then settle into 25 yards easy) :45-60 RI
    8 x 100. alternate between fast and easy :30 RI

    cooldown as you like for 200 yards

  • Possible ride in afternoon, depending on how I feel 🙂

 

Rainbow Cake Balls

Yes, my cake ball/pop expedition has continued throughout the these past couple of months, along with my attempts at trying new, and more complicated little treats. It started off with the bears and helmets, then roosters and chicks, strawberries, and now Rainbow balls.

I must say it was a bit daunting baking rainbow balls, especially after having baked the cake I looked at directions to say how you are really supposed to make them (oops). But since mine came out perfectly fine doing them the “Molly way” I thought I’d share my way of making them.

1. Bake cake according to mix (ofcourse, like always, you can make cake from scratch. I’m simply too lazy. You can make gluten free if you want as well. I don’t like eating cake, so I just used a white cake mix).

2. Separate the cake into four pieces, or 6, depending on how many colors you want to be in the cake ball. This is done after the cake is cool.

3. Crumble up the pieces in individual bowls, then add food coloring to each bowl (I used red, green, blue and yellow). You can use the drops food coloring, which I used for green and red, or food coloring gel, which I used for yellow and blue. The gel definitely brings out a stronger color. I used my hands to mix in the color with the crumbles.

4. Add about a table spoon of frosting to each color mixture and using your hands, mix in the frosting. I also used my hands for this. *Note, you might need more or less frosting depending on how large your crumble quantity is.

5. Put the bowls in the refrigerator and let chill for about 30 or so minutes to “harden”. Do whatever you like in that time.

6. Shape the colors into long logs and slightly smush them so they spread out. Once you have done one color, do the same thing for the additional colors, pressing them ontop of the different color layer.

7. Take pieces off and make balls with them. I made smaller balls and larger balls (you’ll see why later).

8. Place in the fridge to harder, about 30 minutes. Or less.

9. While in the fridge, make daisy’s using while gum paste. I added clear vanilla flavoring to the gum paste because it has no taste. You can add any flavoring, really. Look around your local crafts store which houses all the baking items, and you can find what you need. To make the flowers, you roll out the gum paste and I used a wilton Daisy fondont cutter to cut out the shapes. Then, I placed the flowers in small dishes so they would create that 3-d look of flowers. With the candy coating (mentioned below) I placed one cut-out over another cut out, using coating to glue, and then added a yellow M&M to the center of the flower. Then, I shaked a small amount of pearl colored edible dust onto the flowers to give them a glittering look.

9. Melt the candy coating according to directions–I used chocolate flavored coating. I used green coating for the decorating.

10. Take the balls out and one by one dip them in the chocolate. I used a spoon to dip them in, then gently tapping against the side of the bowl to get excess coating off. Slide onto a plate. Repeat this for all the balls.

11. When the coating has hardened, I used green coating to drizzle over the smaller cake balls. Using left over brown coating, I placed a small dot on the larger balls and then onto that placed a flower.

completed balls

12. I placed the completed balls in the fridge so they would not melt.

13. If you want to be real creative, you can put the balls in small “cupcake” 1-inch liners, and place them in a box. Since mine are for someone’s birthday, I decorated the outside of the box. Then, I used green packing material–similar to what you put in easter baskets–and put that in a terra cotta planter and placed the large flower balls in the planter. Then, wrapped the planter in clear wrap.

outside of box

What would fit inside the box

14. And, you are done! Not as difficult as I thought it would be, but like any cake balls, they are a bit time consuming so you need to plan out a good couple of hours to do this.

What the inside looks like–I crushed this ball by accident

And now, off for a quick run before ride–I’ll get to next week’s training plan later this weekend.

I love spring

Tri Training Week 15

I have no idea why I decided to go on a hilly 40 miler the day after I had a race, but I need to keep training for Timberman which means long rides as well. And since the weather this week is supposed to be iffy, I decided to get my long run out of the way. It was nice, but got really windy and I think the temperature dropped on the ride. No kidding, I swear I was riding into headwind the whole ride. And the fact that my allergies are in full swing did not help.

below is a map of the ride

RB to Turkey Hill to Snyderville Rd to Elizaville, up Odak Farm Rd, to red hook back past Old Aerodrome

And some photos I took along the way….

Image

Neat sign

Once I got home, I decided to make fresh pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, and pear juice, which was quite healthy…And pretty yummy.

Image

mmm juice

Workouts for the rest of the week

Tuesday

  • swim: wu 200 w/ drills, main set: 8×200 w/:20 RI between
  • run: wu 10min, main set 6x800m, get HR zone 4 (170bpm), take 1:30 walk/jog rest between intervals (hr 120’s), cool down 10 minutes
  • possible mtn bike ride
Wednesday
  • Bike: High cadence/big gear: wu 10-15min, main set pick a gear to get you into low zone 3. then 6x 4:00 (2x 1:30 HC/ :30 BG with a 2:00 easy recovery spin between the 4 min sets. HC= 100rpm BG=70rpm, cooldown: 5-10min
Thursday
  • Swim; total 1900 yards: wu 500 yards 200y drills then 3x (50y swim/ 50y kick) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow,hand entry, fingers, pull technique, mainset=1200yards as 3x 200 swim w :20 RI then 4x 100 with :15 RI, then 4x 50 faster with:10 RI, cooldown for 200yards
  • 30min run
  • possible group ride?
Friday
  • 9mile run
Sat/Sunday are up for grabs– mountain bike if that didn’t happen on Tuesday/Rest day 🙂

Du Fast, Du Furious

Du Fast Du Furious

NYTRI

I cannot believe it’s already been a year since I raced in the 8th Annual Trooper Duathlon, which you can read about here, organized by the NYS Troopers, as well as the New York Triathlon Organization, which organizes similar sprint duathlins and triathlons in the Hudson Valley. It was the same course as last year – a 2-mile sprint run, followed by a 14-mile bike ride, and then a 2-mile sprint run.

However, this race was different than last years in that I was part of a relay team. I decided to do the relay with a friend of mine, SB, who did the running, while I did the biking. We were the Valley Girls. Might I add, the t-shirts we designed received a lot of praise around the course. All of the duathlons I have competed individually in. Being a part of a team added an extra element of possible complications, esp. with the handing off of the timing chip with each transition. My race day jitters were higher than normal, since in this race, I was a member of a team, so I had to work hard to not let the Valley Girls down. I think my jitters were shared by my partner. Normally, I’d warm up and run and then have the bike ride, so my legs would be warmed up. Only doing the bike portion was a little trickier since there was a delay from when the timer started, and when you biked. I should have brought my trainer with me….And a TT bike.

Showing how to warm up

Pre-race massage is what should be required at races. Don’t worry, they know each other.

BB transitioning, biking, and finishing the race strong.

BB did an awesome job considering he was basically on his feet most of the day before with the Fats in the Cats Annual Bike Swap. I am envious at both his run time and bike time. He was only 20 sec away from placing third in his category. Next year, BB, next year.

SB doing her part for the team, also finishing strong to bring in our first place!

Steph started the sprints and finished the sprints (both two miles each) strong–leading us to first place. She was consistent with her running, and, apparently, ran a quicker pace than she normally does–managing about an 8 min/min pace!

Zooming by

I cannot really remember the bike portion of the course form last year, or how I did, but this course is basically rolling hills that lead to the bottom of Dug Hill road–a hill that can make a grown man cry. It is a hill that messes with your soul and emotions. It is 4 miles– and the last 4 miles of the bike course. It goes up and up. Then, it has small sections of “flat” which are deceiving because just around the corner you’ll have a steep incline, and other steep incline. I did have a better time than last year, yet my thighs still burned (I definitely need to work on sprinting, and climbing–long road rides are good for Timberman training, but the sprinting is good for smaller distance triathlons or duathlons).

Race in Progress

Cheering on my partner at the finish line

Valley Girls post race–still strong. Let’s do another one!

The post-race refreshments were not your average bagels and bananas. The Troopers had a full BBQ with salads and ziti. I was stoked at the chocolate milk that they had. We all stayed for the award ceremony.

Valley Girls get First place!

I don’t know why I was slouching…Taken before we had to give the plaques back, because they were the plaques for the Co-Ed Relay Team. At least we got a picture. There will need to be a celebratory dinner when our real plaques come in.

SB and BB, what a great team in real life

My best supporter and me

All in all, it was a well organized race. Thank you, NYTRI.ORG, especially the NY State Troopers and those who have been lost doing their job. Another thank you to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department and Ulster Police for keeping the roads safe for riders along the course, and to all the EMT’s, dedicating their time incase something happened to a participant. All of your services are greatly appreciated. Thank you, again. And a special thanks to K for taking all the photos 🙂

9th Annual Trooper Duathlon
co. of NYTri.org

When was the last crazy post written?

May 2012
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